Chris Baron, talks about how writing starts with you, reaching unseen readers, and the magic of maps.
It's funny how someone can rephrase an idea and it revolutionizes the concept. So many people say, "Write what you know," but Chris Baron says, "It starts with you." The difference is the immediacy of the statement. Starting with me begins inside the heart, while writing what I know starts with the mind, and those are two very different starting points. Chris talks about how even though he had an elementary teacher who told him, "It starts with you," he had a professor in college who hit him over the head with a rowing oar, not literally but figuratively, with the same concept. Ever since then, his writing has come from his heart
When writers start from the heart, they reach unseen readers--readers who haven't seen their struggles revealed on the page. Whether it's through Ari's self-hatred, Etan's inability to trust, or Sasha's anxiety as he tries to navigate his father's toxic masculinity, readers will find themselves and their fears inside Chris's novels.
The magic of maps threads itself all three of Chris's novels, too, but it's front and center in The Gray. Preorder your personalized copy here so that you, too, can feel like a character in a video game navigating through unfamiliar landscape to rescue a friend.
Chris recommends the following authors and these books:
Read all of Rajani LaRocca's and Mae Respicio's books.
Check out Reem Faruqi's Golden Girl, Shari Green's Missing Mike, Remy Lai's Pie in the Sky, Jess Redman's The Adventure Is Now, Nikki Grime's Garvey's Choice, and Gillian McDunn's, When Sea Becomes Sky.
There are so many names here that are new to me, but I know where I'm starting. People are tweeting morning and night about When Sea Becomes Sky. So that's the one I'll be checking out.
If you would like to be eligible to win a signed copy of one of Chris's novels or a ten-page middle grade novel critique, be sure to leave a comment below.
Finally, many thanks to Sarah Brannen for Chalk + Ink's art. Just like Chris's novels are great summer reads, so is Sarah and Melissa Stewart's Summertime Sleepers. Be sure to add it to your summer stack.
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